Race, Class, and Gender        Spring 2018

Dr. Christine A. James


AFAM 2020 and WGST 2020

21074  and  21606

MWF 10:00am-10:50am in WH 1215


This syllabus is available online, and may be updated, at http://mypages.valdosta.edu/chjames/AFAM2020WGST2020Spring2018.html


Office: 1203 Ashley Hall

Office Hours: MTWR 2:00-3:15pm, and after classes and by appointment as needed or requested.

Telephone:  259-7609 

Mailbox:  Philosophy and Religious Studies Department Office, Ashley Hall North Side First Floor

Fax:  259-5011

E-mail address: chjames@valdosta.edu It is always helpful to mention which class you are in when you email.


Course content: This course provides an exploration of social class, gender, and racial/ethnic relations as distinct, but linked dimensions of social inequality. Includes an examination of the historic underpinnings of discrimination by race, class, and gender and the present status of these issues. This is a reading intensive course, so it will require you to read, think about, and write about a considerable amount of material.

Requirements:  Class participation and attendance, two written examinations, two papers, various Blazeview assignments and discussions.  Pop Reading Quizzes may also be given during the semester.


In accordance with the revised learning outcomes for the Core Curriculum of the Georgia State System, and the VSU Core Curriculum, our course follows the Area C Learning Outcome:


"Students will analyze, evaluate, and interpret diverse forms of human communication." 

The Learning Outcomes for PHIL 2010 are:

1. To understand the issues of social class and how they have shaped public policy and history.

2. To recognize how gender has influenced and affected public policy and history.

3. To become conversant with the history racial and ethnic relationships in the United States.

4. To recognize and define different world views, adopting a reasonably viable one and justifying it in a philosophically informed way that emphasizes critical reasoning and argument.

5.  To demonstrate the ability to discuss, in both oral and written discourse, the social issues explored in the course.

6.  To be familiar with what academic research is, and to understand how it can be applied to daily life as well as your own major field of study.


All learning outcomes will be evaluated via formative and summative assessments, including research papers, formal presentations in class including verbal expression and Powerpoint presentations, and written work in Blazeview including Discussion postings, Assignment attachments of Word .doc or .docx format, and Assessment quizzes.


Required Texts:


Race, Ethnicity, Gender, & Class: The Sociology of Group Conflict and Change, 7th edition, by Joseph F. Healey and Eileen O′Brien, Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc. (October 23, 2014) ISBN-10: 1452275734

ISBN-13: 978-1452275734  Approximately $23.98 to rent, $59.94 to buy new on Amazon.


For the first two weeks of class, I provided links in Blazeview and your syllabus schedule below for the readings that are available online, just in case you might be waiting for a financial aid overage check deposit to be able to buy your books. Be sure to buy or rent the book as soon as you can.


Please do the reading before the class for which it is assigned. Please bring the book(s) and/or article(s) with you to class, along with a designated notebook and some pens.


(In addition, Philosophy and Religious Studies faculty encourage you to use the St. Martin’s Handbook, a style guide with a custom VSU edition, which is required in ENGL 1101 and 1102 courses. These books are available for purchase at the VSU Bookstore. The St. Martin’s Handbook is usually shelved in the bookstore near the books for ENGL 1101 and 1102.)


How grades will be calculated:

A          = 100 - 90%                              Class participation, attendance = 15%

B          = 89 - 80%                                First Discussion, Quiz, and Dropbox = 5%

C          = 79 - 70%                                2 Exams at 20% each = 40%

D          = 69 - 60%                                2 Papers at 20% each = 40%

F          = 59 - 0%                                  Total = 100%


Please note that I am not obligated to accept late work or to allow “make up” work after the date an assignment or exam or paper is completed by the other members of the class. When you have extenuating circumstances, you should talk with me about it ahead of time.

I also make no promises about extra credit items, although I will routinely announce events on campus that can result in some extra credit points for you.


Exams and Papers: The exams in our class will be “short answer” written exams.  Usually I ask six questions and a complete answer should be no less than four complete sentences.  These exams are “objective” in the sense that the answers can be directly related to class discussions and the textbook.  Reading and participating in class are important for your exam grades.  The papers involve more creative and independent thinking.  The papers should be no less than five pages long, double spaced, in a standard 12 point font like Times/ Times New Roman.  Expect to use the text and cite it with a consistent citation scheme (refer to the St. Martin’s Handbook you use in your English classes).  “Use direct quotes!” with full citation information, at least from our class textbook.  Don’t use plastic paper covers, just a staple is fine.  The ability to write and edit well-constructed academic essays is an important skill that will come in handy throughout your college career and beyond. Again, these papers must be typed, double-spaced, in a standard 12-point font (e.g., Times) with one-inch margins at the top and bottom of each page and 1.25-inch margins on either side (the default settings in Microsoft Word). More specific topics are given out as we do the readings, and I always mention things that would make a good paper topic during our class meetings and discussions. I have scheduled dates in the Syllabus for paper writing tips and research advice too.

Here are some extra links, if you would like to use outside sources and secondary source material:


In completing your research papers, you may find that the databases of peer-reviewed journal articles will be especially helpful. The direct link for the database (Academic Search Complete) is

http://www.galileo.usg.edu/express?link=zbac   (Click on Academic Search Complete to open the first page with the search box.)

If you are accessing the library website from an off-campus computer, please use the Anywhere Access to log in to our library’s resources: http://library.valdosta.edu:2048/login

Attendance Policy: I do care that you attend class regularly.   VSU policy states that missing 20% of class meetings results in an automatic grade of “F”.  Faculty can also institute added attendance policies in their syllabi. Our class will have a 10% rule for absences.  You can miss up to 10% of the class meetings with no grade penalty.  10% of our 30 class meetings is 3.  On absence number 4, your final grade for the course will be reduced by one whole letter grade; on absence number 5, your final grade for the course will be reduced by two whole letter grades; on absence number 6, you will automatically fail the course.  Be considerate of your fellow students – don’t be late, and don’t leave your cell phones and pagers on.  Note that if you are regularly late to class, or leave class early, I will begin to count each as an absence.  Please note that this policy makes no distinction between excused and unexcused absences.

Access Statement: Students with disabilities who are experiencing barriers in this course may contact the Access Office for assistance in determining and implementing reasonable accommodations. The Access Office is located in Farbar Hall. The phone numbers are 229-245-2498 (V), 229-375-5871 (VP) and 229-219-1348 (TTY). For more information, please visit VSU’s Access Office or email: access@valdosta.edu

Campus Carry: For information regarding HB 280, please see http://www.usg.edu/hb280/additional_information or http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/police/campuscarry/

Title IX Statement: Valdosta State University (VSU) is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive work and learning environment free from discrimination and harassment.  VSU is dedicated to creating an environment where all campus community members feel valued, respected, and included. Valdosta State University prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex (including pregnancy status, sexual harassment and sexual violence), sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, national origin, disability, genetic information, or veteran status, in the University's programs and activities as required by applicable laws and regulations such as Title IX. The individual designated with responsibility for coordination of compliance efforts and receipt of inquiries concerning nondiscrimination policies is the University's Title IX Coordinator: Maggie Viverette, Director of the Office of Social Equity, titleix@valosta.edu, 1208 N. Patterson St., Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia 31608, 229-333-5463. 

Participate! Once you arrive at class, make an effort to get involved in the conversation. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you need clarification or would like more information: if you are confused, it is likely that others are too! The participation percentage you receive will depend on a variety of factors, including (but not limited to) the frequency and helpfulness of your contributions to class discussions and the care you take when peer editing.

Pop Reading Quizzes: If I notice that there are many students who are not keeping up with the reading, I may periodically administer reading quizzes in class. These will not be announced in advance. No “make-up” quizzes will be given, and a missed quiz will result in a grade of zero.  These quizzes are a solid reward for attending class, participating, and keeping up with the readings.

Online Discussions: During certain weeks of the semester, you also will be expected to participate regularly in on-line discussions using Blazeview. Use this opportunity to comment on the week’s readings, ask questions, raise objections, and respond to what others have written or said in class.

To use Blazeview, you will need access to a computer with an internet connection. Your computer and its software will also need to meet certain technical specifications, like allowing pop-ups and updating Java. You are solely responsible for all technical matters. Although you do not need to be on campus in order to access Blazeview, it is worth remembering that computer labs are available at VSU. Sometimes if you have a lot of work to do, your wireless internet connection can be cut off if your computer or iPad goes into sleep mode – the library computers will have more reliable “wired” connection. For technical help, please contact the VSU Help Desk (located in Odum Library, to the left of the Circulation Desk) at 229-245-4357 or by e-mail at helpdesk@valdosta.edu

To log in to Blazeview and the course area, go to the VSU homepage and click on My VSU. Your username and password are probably the same as for your e-mail account.

When posting in an online Discussion board, like those in the Discussion area of Blazeview, you must (1) post at least one original message of your own, (2) read all the messages posted by others, and (3) respond substantively to at least one message from another student. Your postings are due the same day as the readings are listed in the schedule below (i.e., no later than 11:59 p.m. on the relevant dates.) Normally, in Blazeview, you should respond to my topic first, and then come back and reply to at least two other students. Try not to simply repeat what others have said already, and remember that citing the text is important.

When you are ready to respond to someone else, do so by opening their message and hitting the “Reply” button. This will create a “thread” that others can add on to. Keep in mind that although it is fine to disagree with what someone else has said, it is important to do so in a way that is polite and constructive. If someone says something that makes you angry, pause and take a breath before firing off a reply! You can preview your message before you send it, but once you have hit “Post,” people will be seeing what you posted!

Blazeview allows me to keep track of how many messages you have read and posted, like a set of statistics on a scoreboard. I will monitor student activity and may from time to time add a message of my own.

Academic Honesty: Members of the Valdosta State University faculty value honesty and integrity extremely highly and do not tolerate cheating of any kind. Anyone caught cheating will automatically fail the course. Cheating includes – but is not limited to – plagiarism, giving or receiving assistance on a quiz, having someone else do work on your behalf, doing work on someone else’s behalf, and working with a partner or in a group on an individual assignment. By enrolling in this course, you are in effect promising to maintain the bond of trust on which the professor-student relationship is based.  In addition, VSU has a new Academic Honesty Policy.  Here is a link to the Academic Honesty Policies and Procedures:



VSU policy mandates that all official communication by e-mail take place through VSU e-mail accounts or through the Blazeview Mail tool.  Please check your VSU (@valdosta.edu) e-mail account regularly.

Note: This syllabus is not a legal contract; the content of this course is subject to revision by the professor.




1/8 M

Introduction to the class.


First reading together: Academic Integrity



(Each date in the class after this one assumes that you will have read that day’s assigned discussion reading before class.)

Be sure to look in the new Blazeview for your first Discussion, Quiz and Dropbox!

Blazeview appears under MyVSU and http://www.valdosta.edu/academics/elearning/blazeview-d2l.php


Remember, to have excess financial aid direct deposited to your bank account, you must set up your information following the instructions here by the last day of drop/add: https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/financial-services/students/direct-deposit-excess-check.php


The last day to transfer excess financial aid to Flex is January 17 at 5pm: https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/auxiliary-services/1-card-services/


1/10 W

Part I: An Introduction to the Study of Minority Groups in the United States

1. Diversity in the United States: Questions and Concepts pages 2-29

1/12 F

1. Diversity in the United States: Questions and Concepts pages 2-29 continued

Please note that by Saturday 1/13 at 11:59pm, you should have completed your first Discussion, Dropbox, and Introductory Quiz in Blazeview. These are all short items that simply show you are able to use Blazeview.

1/15 M

No Class, MLK Jr. Day

1/17 W

 2. Assimilation and Pluralism: from immigration to white ethnics pages 30-67


1/19 F

Review for FIRST EXAM The first exam is due in Blazeview Quizzes by 11:59pm on Sunday 1/21

Faculty complete Proof Rolls in the last week of January. This is how the administration records that you are attending class, and it begins the process for you to receive financial aid overage.

1/22 M

Going over the first exam, Discussion tool assignments in Blazeview

Remember to post in the online Blazeview Discussion board for our class.  Topics will be listed in the class, under the Discussion link.

Visit from Masters of Science MFT graduate program

1/24 W

3. Prejudice and Discrimination pages 68-99

1/26 F

3. Prejudice and Discrimination pages 68-99 continued

1/29 M

Part II: The Evolution of Dominant-Minority Relations

4. Postindustrial America and the Origins of Slavery pages 100-123

1/31 W

4. Postindustrial America and the Origins of Slavery pages 100-123 continued

By this date, your excess financial aid should be either direct deposited or mailed to you.

2/2 F

5. Industrialization and Postindustrial Society pages 124-151

2/5 M

5. Industrialization and Postindustrial Society pages 124-151 continued

2/7 W

Part III Understanding Dominant-Minority Relations Today

6. African-Americans 152-183

2/9 F

6. African-Americans 152-183 continued, Research Tips for First Paper

2/12 M

7. Native Americans 184-213

2/14 W

7. Native Americans 184-213 continued

2/16 F

8. Hispanic Americans 214-249

REMINDER: Advising for Summer and Fall 2018 takes place throughout the month of March, and Registration for Summer and Fall 2018 classes will begin on Monday April 2. Be sure to see your advisors in your major departments, and sign up for appointment times if your advisor has a lot of students to see.

2/19 M

8. Hispanic Americans 214-249 continued

Research Advice for the First Paper Due 2/28

2/21 W

9. Asian Americans 250-283

2/23 F

10. New Americans, Immigration, Assimilation 284-317

2/26 M

Writing Practicum Day! Bring 4 copies of the draft of your paper to class to do peer review!

2/28 W


Be ready to discuss your papers in front of the class in three minutes or less. Papers will be turned in to the Blazeview Dropbox area by 11:59pm.

On this date, In Progress grades are being entered in Banner. These grades give you a sense of where your performance is in the class.


March 1 is the official “Midterm Date” of Spring 2018. Some classes will have a “midterm exam” but our class is graded by activities spread out over units, so we do not have a “midterm exam.”

3/2 F

Part IV Other Groups, Other Patterns

11. Gender pages 318-347

3/5 M

11. Gender pages 318-347 continued

3/7 W

 12. Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Americans 348-377

The last date to withdraw from a VSU full fall semester class with a grade of W, instead of WF. Remember that VSU students are limited to 5 W grades in their entire Bachelor’s degree.

3/9 F

12. Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Americans 348-377 continued

3/12 M

Spring Break

3/14 W

Spring Break  

3/16 F

Spring Break

3/19 M

Dominant-Minority Relations in Cross-National Perspective 378-399

3/21 W

 Dominant-Minority Relations in Cross-National Perspective 378-399 continued

3/23 F

 Part V: Challenges for the Present and the Future 400-410

VSU Registration for Summer and Fall 2018 classes begins Monday April 2.

3/26 M

 Ethical Theories and Race Class and Gender: Aristotle

3/28 W

 Ethical Theories and Race Class and Gender: Kant

3/30 F

 Ethical Theories and Race Class and Gender: Mill, Rachels

4/2 M

 Ethical Theories and Race Class and Gender: Rousseau, Habermas

4/4 W

 Ethical Theories and Race Class and Gender: African Communalism

4/6 F

Ethical Theories and Race Class and Gender: Ethics of Care and Feminist Ethics

4/9 M

 Social and Political theories and Race Class and Gender: Locke

4/11 W

 Social and Political theories and Race Class and Gender: Hobbes

4/13 F

 Social and Political theories and Race Class and Gender: Rawls

4/16 M

 Social and Political theories and Race Class and Gender: Nozick

4/18 W

Social and Political theories and Race Class and Gender: Wollstonecraft

4/20 F

Social and Political theories and Race Class and Gender: Wollstonecraft

4/23 M

Research Examples

4/25 W

Research Examples

4/27 F

Writing Practicum Day! Preparing your final research paper and reviewing for the final exam

4/30 M

Individual Help Day, Final Paper Due by 11:59pm




The last official class meeting day for all Fall Semester classes is Monday, April 30.


For classes that normally meet MWF at 10am, the Registrar has set the official exam time for Tuesday, May 1 at 10:15am. For our course, we will have an online exam in the Quizzes area of Blazeview covering the last section of our class that will be due by the time this final would begin. If you are not sure about how the final exam times are assigned for your other courses, check this link to the Final Exam Schedule here:


AFAM/WGST 2020    Short Summary of Graded Items


Grade Item

Percentage of Final Grade

In Class or Online

If Online, Location in Blazeview

By Saturday 1/13 at 11:59pm

First Introduction Discussion, Dropbox and Practice Quiz in Blazeview






Throughout the semester

Discussions on various topics




By Sunday
1/21 by

First Exam on opening readings (Blazeview will go down for maintenance on Friday nights, so try to do it before 9pm Friday if you can)




By Wednesday 2/28 at 11:59pm

First Paper

Turn in Paper Online, but you are expected to discuss what you are writing about on a particular date in class


Online and in class


By Monday 4/30 at 11:59pm

Second Paper

Turn in Paper Online, but you are expected to discuss what you are writing about on a particular date in class


Online and in class


By Tuesday 5/1 at 10:15am

Final Exam





Online Course Evaluations

Student evaluations are extremely important in helping faculty members plan and revise their courses.  Rather than completing these evaluations during class time, students will need to access evaluation forms via BANNER and complete them in a period during the last few weeks of class.  Please take the time to complete this important evaluation (or opt out of providing an evaluation) during the designated period.  If you do not do so, you will not be able to access the grade for this class, scheduled to be posted on the Monday after the final examination days. They will be in Banner under Answer a Survey. Students will receive an email notification through their VSU (valdosta.edu) email address when the SOI is available (generally at least one week before the end of term.) SOI responses are anonymous to instructors/administrators. Instructors will be able to view only a summary of all responses two weeks after they have submitted final grades. While instructors will not be able to view individual responses or access any of the responses until after final grade submission, they will be able to see which students have or have not completed their SOIs, and student compliance may be considered in the determination of the final course grade. Some professors give extra credit for completing the SOI and some do not, please do not pressure any faculty member about giving extra credit - it's an individual instructor choice. These compliance and non-compliance reports will not be available once instructors are able to access the survey.